Volta a Catalunya cycling race gets underway with five-star line-up
Tour starts in Costa Brava town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols with seven stages including three big mountain stages
The Volta Cicilista a Catalunya cycling race starts on Monday with a five-star line-up, including 23-year-old Belgian and reigning world champion Remco Evenepoel, competing against three-time winner of the Vuelta a España, Primož Roglič, and Tour de France winners Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.
The 102nd edition of one of the world's oldest cycling tours in the starts in the Costa Brava town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols on Monday and will end on Sunday in Barcelona. During the competition, there will be a varied route with three mountain stages: the high altitude finishes at the Pyrenees Vallter and the ski resort La Molina, and the summit of Lo Port, in the southern region of Terres de l'Ebre.
There will be 25 mountain passes in the seven stages of the race, which will finish as is tradition at the Montjuïc circuit in Barcelona.
The first stage will also finish in Sant Feliu de Guíxols after a 164.6-kilometer race.
The second stage will see a first high-altitude finish linking Mataró and Vallter on a 165.4-kilometer route. The third stage, 180.6 kilometers, will see cyclists go from Olost, in central Catalonia, to La Molina ski resort, in the Pyrenees.
The fourth stage will cover 188.2 kilometers between Llívia and Sabadell on the longest day of the tour, with a sprint finish likely. But the fifth stage is the one that will make the Volta a Catalunya "exceptional," as organizers say the 176.6 kilometer route will show the "cycling potential of the four counties of the Terres de l'Ebre."
"This stage will be the third high altitude finish of the tour, in a special category pass difficult enough to be decisive in the final resolution of the race," Volta de Catalunya organizers say.
The sixth stage will link Martorell and Molins de Rei, two towns in the Baix Llobregat county, just south of Barcelona, that return to the Volta route after a decades-long absence. The 183.2-kilometer route will take cyclists over mountainous terrain through central Catalonia, reaching the territory of Lleida.
It will be on the seventh stage, on Sunday 26, when Barcelona will once again "be the judge of the Volta a Catalunya," the start and end point of a 135.8-kilometer route. The race with laps of Montjuïc hill, "which always offers a special competitive and public spectacle to close a week of emotions," organizers say.
The Volta a Catalunya will distribute its images internationally in 190 countries and can be followed live in Spain on Esport3, Teledeporte, and Eurosport.
2023 Spanish La Vuelta cycling race in Catalonia
Barcelona will be the starting point of the Spanish La Vuelta tour 2023. The city will host the first stage as well as the finish line for the second one. This will be the first time La Vuelta starts in the Catalan capital since 1962.
Stage one of La Vuelta cycling race will be a team time trial, as announced on January 24, 2022. The city will also host the presentation of the cycling teams and be part of the official advertisement of the race.
Overall, the four first stages of La Vuelta will take place in Catalonia.